When it comes to selecting between flex ducts and hard ducts, there are a few essential distinctions to take into account. Flexible ducts are notoriously simpler to install, making them an excellent choice for reducing labor costs and downtime. However, if not properly installed, the air flow may not be as good as that of metal ducts. Metal ducts are more difficult to install incorrectly, and they are also more resistant to punctures. In terms of cost, flexible ducts are usually much cheaper than sheet metal ducts.
Nevertheless, metal ducts may last longer in certain environments. It is important to note that regular maintenance is necessary for any type of duct system in order to guarantee optimal performance. For newly built homes, metal ducts may be the best option if you want to pay more for peace of mind that all of the airflow will reach the ventilation grille. Metal ducts are also better suited for a trunk and branch design, as they are constructed of rigid metal sheets. On the other hand, flexible ducts are great for bending around components in difficult areas of a house structure. They also don't let in as much air in cubic feet per minute (CFM) as a metal duct of the same size. In the end, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each type of duct before making a decision.
If you can find an installer that follows the best flexible duct installation practices, then there is no difference between the airflow of flexible and metal ducts.